"We all want to look like Caucasians, like Americans"

Henry C.K. Liu hliu at SPAMmindspring.com
Thu Mar 8 10:06:17 MST 2001

This is merely the result of cultural imperialism.  It occurs in US society as
well.  Jews want nose jobs, black iron their hair, not to mention Michael
Jackson.  The Japanese went through he same phase.

China can learn from US consciousness raising Black Is Beautiful.

Bourgeois freedom is merely freedom for self immolation.

Henry C.K. Liu

Saul Thomas wrote:

> Thursday March 8, 9:29 AM
> China's women buying new looks at bargain basement prices
> SHANGHAI, March 8 (AFP) -
> In Shanghai, a new pair of thighs costs less than a year's gym membership,
> which may be why many women are opting for liposuction rather than working
> up a sweat.
> "I've never exercised, never even tried...but I'm getting this operation so
> I'll be able to wear tight jeans again," said 43-year-old Zhang.
> In a touching display of family values, Zhang got the idea for reshaping
> her body through cosmetic surgery from her 15-year-old daughter who went
> for a 1000 yuan (120 dollar) operation to give her a double eyelid during
> her school summer holidays.
> Far from worrying that her daughter might be too young to go under the
> knife, Zhang footed the bill for the procedure to give her daughter's eyes
> a fashionable Western wide-eyed look.
> "If she wants to do it, it's better to get it done when she's younger so it
> looks more natural when she grows up," said the unemployed housewife whose
> husband is a party official.
> Zhang and her daughter are part of a growing number of Chinese women who
> are turning to plastic surgery.
> Operations to widen the eyes, raise the brow of the nose and pump up the
> breasts to ape the looks in Western fashion advertisements are popular
> among young women, while face lifts and liposuction are gaining ground
> among the older generation.
> At the Shanghai No. 9 People's Hospital, about 120 patients a day come to
> overhaul their faces and the numbers are continuing to grow.
> Last year, Professor Li Qingfeng, a surgeon at the hospital, accepted
> 13,000 people for operations -- a 44 percent since 1998.
> Meanwhile, US-trained surgeon Dr Michelle Yang, said that when she began
> practising corrective surgery in 1985 there was a stigma attached to vanity
> and wanting cosmetic surgery. But that has changed.
> "Fifteen years ago, people would have said 'oh look at you, you've had an
> operation,' but now it is much more common because people are chasing after
> beauty," she said.
> The bulk of her clients at the Athena International Clinic are young girls
> riven with insecurities.
> "There's often nothing wrong with the way they look, but they lack
> self-confidence," Yang explained adding that many girls will come back for
> repeat operations and go to less scrupulous back-street surgeons when she
> turns them down.
> Qingzhi Beauty, a beauty salon in downtown Shanghai offers nose and eye
> surgery for 20 percent cheaper than licensed surgeons in the People's No. 9
> Hospital or the Athena Clinic.
> A saleswoman at the parlour said if clients were worried about botched
> operations and wanted a guarantee the surgery would not fail they should go
> to one of the large hospitals. She declined to say whether the parlour was
> licensed or not.
> For 23-year-old Li Yuan, a nursing student back from the US to have surgery
> for widening her eyes, fly-by-night beauty parlours will be the only hope
> of getting the face she so desperately wants.
> Li has had surgery on her eyes four times and an operation to shrink her
> wide mouth, but is still not satisfied with her looks and wants more
> operations despite being counselled against it by Yang.
> "A double eyelid makes your eyes look bigger and brilliant. We all want to
> look like Caucasians, like Americans," she said.
> Slight and pretty, Li would have got many admiring looks before she started
> having surgery, but she is set on acquiring a Western face she can never
> have and vows to find a surgeon in Shanghai willing to perform more
> extreme, and possibly dangerous, surgery on her eyes.
> Zhou Yanyan, 19, has already has surgery to raise the brow of her nose but
> she too wants more against the doctor's advice.
> "All my friends said my nose wasn't pretty and now they say it's still not
> high enough," she said plaintively.
> Many of the girls in their teens and early twenties who come for cosmetic
> surgery are beset by psychological problems and would be better off find a
> psychiatrist than a surgeon, Yang said.
> "But if I don't perform the surgery here, they will find someone who will,"
> she adds shaking her head.
> An estimated 20 percent of her clients come to buy a new face in the hope
> of improving their job prospects, regardless of whether they work in
> beauty-oriented industries like modelling and hostessing or in ordinary
> office jobs, Dr. Yang said.
> "In China, your face is your fortune, it's very important to look good.
> Things for men are much better because women their looks are very important
> whereas men will rely on their ability," said Li Chunya, editor of popular
> women's magazine, Ruili.
> That is especially true in the current economic climate. Women are often
> the first to be laid-off in China and the last to be re-employed.
> Since 1996, some 10 million Chinese workers have been laid-off from
> loss-making state enterprises every year, but the reform of the sector has
> hit women the hardest. Women make up some 39 percent of the urban
> workforce, but make up 51 percent of the recent lay-offs.
> Wu Guomei, a sociologist at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences said
> while previously women might have worried about their appearance in order
> to find a prosperous husband, "now they are even more concerned with
> looking good in order to find a better job."
> In a country stacked with beauty parlours offering cut-price surgery in
> poorly regulated cities such as central China's Chengdu and the southern
> boomtown of Shenzhen, that is worrying but difficult to change.
> "Women have been regarded as a commodity in Chinese society for many years.
> And the people making the decisions about who is employed are usually men,"
> Wu added.

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